Meteor shower due to peak this week - with clear skies expected

It's set to be a stargazers' delight this week as the Orionids meteor shower reaches its peak as the weather remains good.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 1:54 pm
Picture by David Lowndes

The Orionids are caused by dust from the tail of Halley's Comet, which create a beautiful spectacle in the skies. Up to 20 meteors are expected to be visible every hour on Thursday night.

The meteors can be seen from around 9pm onwards and are most visible after the moon sets at about midnight.

The first appeared at the beginning of the month and will be visible until November 7, but peak on Thursday night.

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You won't need a telescope or any other equipment, as the meteors are visible with the naked eye.

A Met Office spokesman said: "Find a spot away from bright lights and let your eyes get used to the dark – this will take about 15 to 20 minutes.”

“Orionid meteors are known to be very fast, travelling at about 41 miles per second, and typically on the faint side, although with clear, dark skies you still have a good chance of spotting one with its persistent, long trail.

“The Orionid meteor shower is named as such because it appears to radiate from the constellation Orion, which is one of the most visible and recognisable in the sky throughout the world."